Lately, I have taken an interest in starting a mail order business and a hosiery business. I thought that it would be great to combine both, if possible. Read the remainder of the blog entry for the details.
So far, I have not come up with a name for the store, I just called it,
I think that any type of business is risky, but this type of business is even more risky, because even though there is a greater interest in hosiery, hosiery does not earn a business enough money to be very profitable. It seems that there is a lot of customer service involved. Hosiery businesses of all sizes seem to recognize this problem, and therefore they expand into other products such as leggings and lingerie. Another risk factor is the increase in hosiery businesses popping up all over the place.
For me, it will be more of a part time business and a hobby, so I will not be as aggressive in adding other products to my offerings. I would love to have a business just purely devoted to hosiery. There is just something special about that, to me.
Not adding non-hosiery products will allow me to spend time doing other things that will not be hosiery related. Perhaps I could start another mail order business, or perhaps I could focus on teaching English as a second language.
Another thing that I want to do is try creating a subscription service for the hosiery business. I think that it is important to get people comfortable with a great style of hosiery, and then encourage them to stick with it.
For products, my main focus will be products that we can buy in the supermarkets, drug stores, and department stores. 1 reason for this is because I do not want to compete against those who are trying to bring high quality European hosiery into Canada. I really respect them, and I want their businesses to succeed. The second reason that I chose these products is because of the availability of the products. I do not want to stock up on a whole bunch of hosiery. If the products are widely available in the department store, then I do not have to stock up. I might stock up on size-colour combinations that I intend to wear, but that is about all. The last reason for my product choices is because I think that the Canadian offerings are not getting enough attention, and I think that they deserve it. There are some really great high quality styles that people probably have not tried.
The current products that I offer are Silks tights and Secret opaques. Both of them are great mid-range products that normally retail around $10-$15. I already have product information on Energizers, Expression [the Bay's store brand], and HUE, so I should be able to add them to the store soon.
There is a local mall, that is just a 13-15 minute walk from here, which has a small post office. As soon as an order is placed, I can go to the mall, and get the products, and then mail the items. So, a 30 minute round trip, plus 15 minutes of shopping, plus 15 minutes of wrapping the products and mailing them. I would have to be very organized to make sure that I do not lose money. I would need to sell about 3 pairs for each trip to the store, in order for it to be worth my while. That being said, it could become a very smooth operation. For the days where I might be out of the house, it would not be a big stretch to stop by the store, and send off some hosiery. Also, I already mentioned that some products ship in less than 30 days.